Probabilistic models and uncertainty quantification for the ionization reaction rate of atomic Nitrogen

K. Miki*, M. Panesi, E. E. Prudencio, S. Prudhomme

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The objective in this paper is to analyze some stochastic models for estimating the ionization reaction rate constant of atomic Nitrogen (N+e-→N++2e-). Parameters of the models are identified by means of Bayesian inference using spatially resolved absolute radiance data obtained from the Electric Arc Shock Tube (EAST) wind-tunnel. The proposed methodology accounts for uncertainties in the model parameters as well as physical model inadequacies, providing estimates of the rate constant that reflect both types of uncertainties. We present four different probabilistic models by varying the error structure (either additive or multiplicative) and by choosing different descriptions of the statistical correlation among data points. In order to assess the validity of our methodology, we first present some calibration results obtained with manufactured data and then proceed by using experimental data collected at EAST experimental facility. In order to simulate the radiative signature emitted in the shock-heated air plasma, we use a one-dimensional flow solver with Park's two-temperature model that simulates non-equilibrium effects. We also discuss the implications of the choice of the stochastic model on the estimation of the reaction rate and its uncertainties. Our analysis shows that the stochastic models based on correlated multiplicative errors are the most plausible models among the four models proposed in this study. The rate of the atomic Nitrogen ionization is found to be (6.2±3.3)×1011cm3mol-1s-1 at 10,000K.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3871-3886
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bayesian method
  • Covariance matrix
  • Inverse problem
  • Nitrogen ionization
  • Parameter identification
  • Stochastic modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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